February 18, 2022

HECA Next Steps Report: Connected Conversations

The Higher Education Colleges Association (HECA) is delighted to launch the “Connected Conversations” report on January 26th at 1 pm.

HECA was an active partner in the National Forum Next Steps research project which explored the teaching, learning and assessment learnings and next steps from the COVID-19 emergency response in higher education in Ireland.

The HECA "Connected Conversations" study explores the teaching, learning and assessment practices selected and applied by HECA members to cope with the emergency shift to remote learning during the COVID-19 crisis and how the practices were experienced by all relevant stakeholders, including but not limited to lecturers and students. The research also provides recommendations for both policy and practice.

View the Full Report

View the Report Launch


Orla Butler

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With a passionate interest in inclusive teaching and learning, Orla is based in Griffith College working across a range of areas including learning supports, programme design and delivery and strategic development of teaching and learning. A skilled academic developer, Orla brings her expertise in inclusive curriculum design and universal design for learning to enhance the learner experience. Orla lectures on the MA Education, Learning and Development programme. 

In 2021 Orla was selected as lead researcher for HECA on the National Forum next Steps project. 

Ruth Ní Bheoláin 

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Ruth Ní Bheoláin is an experienced Quality Assurance and Enhancement professional with broad experience in higher education. Her primary role is Quality Assurance and Enhancement Manager in Hibernia College. She is also the elected chair of the Higher Education Colleges Association’s Academic Quality Enhancement Forum and is an expert reviewer for Quality and Qualifications Ireland. Driven by a desire to continuously improve the learning environment, Ruth takes pride in keeping both student and staff experience at the heart of everything she does. Alongside her formal roles, she is a dedicated life-long learner and enjoys taking opportunities to broaden her experience, increase her capacity to support her peers and engage with the wider higher education community. 

In 2021, Ruth was part of the HECA Next Steps Steering Group directing and providing support to HECA on the National Forum next Steps project.

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